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Understanding Missouri’s Expungement Law
Individuals may have their records expunged if they commit certain offenses in Missouri, allowing them to take another step toward a new and better life.
What is Expungement?
Expungement is when the court seals a criminal record. An expunged record is a record that was removed from a public criminal records system, and therefore could not be searched or accessed by anyone. It would require a court order to reopen it.
Criteria for Expungement
Class A felonies generally are ineligible for expungement. Also included are offenses that require individuals to register as sex offenders: felony offenses where death was part of the offense; felony assault offenses; misdemeanor or felony offenses for domestic assault; and felony conviction for kidnapping.
There are other crimes that do not fall under these categories that are also ineligible for expungement. The list of crimes that cannot be expunged are outlined in §610.140.2 RSMo. Contact a qualified lawyer today to explain to you the legal provisions. Wayne T. Schoeneberg P. C. is here to help you navigate through a variety of criminal defense matters.
How To File For Expungement?
Under the Missouri law, before you can file for an expungement, you must have paid off your fine, completed probation, or done your time, and have a three-year clean date in order to be eligible for a felony expungement or you will have to wait for at least one year to be eligible for a misdemeanor offense, municipal offense, or infraction expungement.
A petition must be filed in the court of the county where you were charged with a crime to expunge that crime from your record. There is a $250 charge for an expungement petition. The judge may waive the surcharge if you are indigent and unable to pay the cost.
In the petition, you must name as defendants any entities the petitioner believes may have records regarding your offense, violation, and infraction described in the petition.
After the individuals have been served with the petition, §610.140 RSMo states the court “may accept evidence and hear testimony on, and may consider” criteria regarding each listed offense, violation, or infraction.
Defendants have 30 days after being served the petition to object to the expungement petition. The court must hold a hearing within 60 days after the filed objection or 30 days after defendants have been served and there are no objections made.
If the court rules to expunge a conviction, you can maintain that you have not been convicted of the crime that was expunged. However, outlined under §610.140.9 RSMo., the “person granted an expungement must disclose any expunged offense when disclosing information” when you are filling out certain applications.
You could re-file the petition in a year if an expungement petition is denied. You can also appeal the court’s decision.
A petitioner could be granted more than one expungement, if that total number does not exceed more than one felony offense and two misdemeanors or ordinance violations that could have resulted in imprisonment.
If you are seeking for expungement of your criminal record, call Wayne T. Schoeneberg P. C. now. We are ready to help you in the petition process.